Unsettled About Mandatory Asthma Meds - Feeling Sad

Updated on May 16, 2014
H.L. asks from Washington, DC
13 answers

My 3 yo is on Flovent and Singulair daily and Albuterol when he gets a cold (action plan prescribed by Pulmonary Doctor that works well). He has viral-induced asthma. Every time he gets a cold, my heart aches. I hate having him on so many meds, but he absolutely needs them. He only has symptoms when he has a cold. No symptoms when not sick with a cold. I am grateful for the meds and can't take him off because they work, but it still pains me that he is on them. Today I feel even worse because he was on Albuterol for 7 days up until yesterday for a cold and today woke up with a NEW cold!! We are so careful, not sure how this happened. So, now after being on Albuterol for 7 days now he has to be on it again for another week. He's the type that needs 6 puffs every 4 hrs. I hate what these meds could be doing to him, even though I know the risks outweigh the risks involved of not giving them.

Any words of encouragement in relation to the harm of Albuterol on the body. He isn't even 3 yet (will be soon) and is on so many meds.

What can I do next?

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Have you tried Xophenex instead of Albuterol? It is soooooo much easier on them. No side effects. It's more expensive but I have both kids on it instead.

No shakes or tremors and their hearts don't usually race. It's almost like they just got a breathing treatment with nothing in it.

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answers from Austin on

Have you ever felt like you were about to drown while swimming?
Like right on the edge, when your heart starts beating really fast?

This is what asthma can feel like.
It is awful and terrifying sometimes. (I used to notice the lack of oxygen would cause her to go pale and get dark circles under her eyes). Sometimes it was so gradual, I would not notice it until I would see a photo of her. I would feel so guilty.

And so these medications really help his body to open up so that he can breath.

The good news is that there is a VERY good possibility he will grow out of this eventually.

Our daughter had severe asthma for years. She was once in the hospital for 3 days. It was so awful.

But by 6th grade, she never had a problem again. She is very aware of "Ozone Action days" and will stay inside as much as possible.

What helped our daughter was what we did in our home to make it a "breathing sanctuary", especially her bedroom, since she needed to be able to sleep well at night and when she was not feeling well we made sure it was set up for her needs.

We live in an area with a lot of pollen from constant blooming trees, We have a lot of Dust AND when the Mexico fires are going on, we get the smoke.

We took out ALL carpeting throughout the house. We took down drapes, especially in her room. We instead use blinds that can be wiped down.

We made sure the linens for her bed could be washed , I used to purchase 2 comforters for her. One to wash each week (faded) and the other stored so it could be pulled out if guests came still looked brand new.

We had Hepa filters for our air conditioning/heating system in the house AND we purchase a Electric air filter just for her bedroom. It was by Hunter (can be purchased at Lowes, Home Depot etc) and I learned to keep at least 3 extra filters, because even though the manufacturer suggest the filter be changed every 6 to 8 weeks, there were times of the year, WE had to change it every 3 weeks it was that filthy. We also purchased a good Vacuum and when they came out, "Swiffers" became our best friend.

I know it is sad when our children seem dependent on medications, we wish there was some "Natural" solutions, but once our daughter was so ill, I just knew she deserved to be able to breath and not be so frightened by the asthma attacks and her low energy any longer.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

My DD was on Singulair for several years when she was younger- maybe 4 until 8. She is 14 now and doing awesome. My brother had severe asthma growing up and was on lots of meds, and used albuterol a ton for many, many years. Still does, I think. He is now 43 and is the picture of health. He competes in bike races and is very active. He needs the inhaler less, but still uses it. So he's fine!! And so will your little guy be. My brother gets shaky from it, but I can't even imagine what his life would have been like if he didn't have these meds. You do what you gotta do. He'll be fine!

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answers from Norfolk on

Most kids eventually out grow this.
They get bigger, their air passages get bigger and things don't clog up as badly as when they are so small.
Our son had pneumonia a month after his first birthday and he was on all the meds too.
At 2 we took him for allergy patch testing but there was nothing unusual about his test results.
It got a little better as he turned three but then at 3 1/2 his tonsils puffed up till they were almost touching each other across the back of his throat.
They were not infected - he had no fever - but he snored something awful and he was having trouble swallowing.
They were becoming an obstruction.
We tried steroids to shrink them but as soon as he finished the series they ballooned right back up again.
So right after his 4th birthday we had his tonsils and adenoids out.
It was the best thing we ever did!
He healed up quickly, he no longer snored (I kept checking him at night - he was so quiet I had to get use to him NOT snoring when he slept) and since he got much better rest without the snoring the perpetual dark circles under his eyes went away and he was a lot less cranky at preschool.
He's 15 now, in 9th grade, hardly ever gets sick and has no asthma/breathing issues at all.
Hang in there and try not to worry too much!

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answers from Phoenix on

Not breathing does more harm than the medicines.

Sorry that that's a little snarky, but if he needs the medicines I just don't understand why you are creating all this drama around them. One of my daycare boys has the same thing. He's been hospitalized due to respiratory distress multiple times a year since he was an infant. His parents refuse to get rid if the pets he's allergic to or even tear up the carpet. His mom doesn't like the idea of giving him so much medicine, so she refuses to start the Albuterol until he's wheezing and chest-sucking, so until he needs to go to the emergency room. When he's released from the hospital, she stops the breathing treatments, so sometimes he has to go right back. She says that the Albuterol says "every 4-6 hours AS NEEDED" so she doesn't feel he needs it unless he's struggling to breathe.
I'm not saying that's what you're doing, obviously since you're starting it at the first sign of a cold. I just don't see why you're lamenting the medicines that are helping him.
As others have said, allergy testing may giveyyou the clue as to why he keeps getting colds. Or his immune system may just need to be boosted with time, nutrition, and vitamins. Either way, hang in there and keep giving him those meds!

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answers from New York on

Is he being treated by a your regular doctor or a specialist? There can be a huge difference in treatment when you use a pediatric pulmonologist.

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answers from Lancaster on

I feel for you. DD is 14 and has been on Singulair and/or Zyrtek since she was 3. It does get better. My first thought about your little one is that I'd check for allergies with an allergist. He may have seasonal allergies that may seem like a cold. If that's the case, then he may need an antihystamine for Zyrtek type of med to treat the allergies. I find that when my daughter's allergies are under control, her asthma doesn't bother her. For her, if she has a nasal drip from untreated allergies, that goes down her throat when she's sleeping and it eventually causes a full blown cough that's just impossible to clear sometimes.

Best of luck and find a good allergist. They can be a Godsend in treating asthma.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

You may need to administer the medicine in a different way. If he isn't even three yet, then doing albuterol through an inhaler (with puffs) probably isn't as effective as if you were using a nebulizer. The nebulizer takes longer (10-15 minutes), but will be much better at delivering the medication to his lungs.

We use Q-var twice a day as a preventative medicine. It helps keep my son's lungs open so that, when he does get sick, he doesn't have as much of a struggle to breathe and doesn't need his albuterol as often. He does it through an inhaler, but used to do a similar medication through the nebulizer until he was about 5.

Also, if he needs that much albuterol, he may actually need to go into the doctor for a breathing treatment there. They can deliver stronger meds faster through a nebulizer that should be able to regulate his breathing better.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My first thought is allergies. The pollen count is up around here; may be in your area also.

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answers from Hartford on

I would agree the neb would be easier at his age. My son had asthma whenever his allergies kicked in this time of year or he got a cold when he was younger. My son is now almost 8 and has grown out of the asthma. I still have an inhaler at home and send it to over night camp incase he devolps a weezy cough. The other thing we used to have to do for my son is if he developed a chest cold the dr would put him on steriods which I know is more medicine but in the end it would do the trick and get rid of whatever virus or cold he had that was causing the asthma issues.

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answers from New York on

Nebulizer works much better at his age. They are not coordinated enough for an inhaler so chances are he is not getting the meds. Kids get colds. You cannot avoid it. My daughter had viral,induced asthma and was on meds only when a cold was coming on. Never when she was healthy. Healthy kids do not need meds. Viral induced asthma is much different and so much easier to handle. Maybe a second opinion might help you.

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answers from New York on

Try a pediatric pulmonary doctor - there might be other options and it could make a huge difference.

consdier a pediatric chiropractor. I know it sounds strange - but getting properly aligned can open airways. A coworker brought her 3 yr old son desperate to try anything after numerous ear infections, antibiotics and tubes with no resolution. Within 3 visits her son's ear infections cleared up.

Finally - consider your house could be making your son sick. consdier an allergist to rule things out. The regular pediatrician may not have the best answers.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

have you had him allergy tested???
when my daughter was 10 months her dr diagnosed her with asthma (after 2 months of different meds for a cold that wouldnt go away). she got put of pulmicort (a very strong steroid that doesnt get prescribed to children). i did her treatments religiously because breathing is kind of important lol. when she was sick we were told to double the pulmicort and administer albuterol 4 times a day (all via a nebulizer).
i did not stop the albuterol until she was 4 days illness free. only then did i wean her off of it. in all the years of my daughter being asthmatic she has only complained of tightness in her chest once.
we moved out of state almost two years ago and have had little issue with her asthma now and i have weaned her off of all her meds but i still keep medication handy just in case.
i wouldnt make the choice as of now to take him off his meds. if you feel the need to get a second opinion do it. i also suggest asking for a nebulizer. my daughter didnt respond well to inhalers and did a lot better with a nebulizer. it may take longer but it may also work better for your son.

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